Deployed EOD airman named Charleston's best

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Senior Airman William Senecal, NCO in charge of technical data and training with the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordinance disposal flight here, was recently named the 2003 Airman of the Year for Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

Deployed here from the 437th Civil Engineer Squadron, Airman Senecal said he was shocked to here the news.

"My commander from home called me late one night and told me he had some good news," he said. "The whole shop was on the phone to congratulate me."

What may have come as a surprise to him was no surprise to his co-workers.

"His success is our success," said Master Sgt. John Ford, flight chief for both the 380th and 437th EOD flights. "Everything he does is with the team concept in mind, and together the team wins."

The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing is no stranger to Airman Senecal's sense of teamwork. When the wing recently built a new munitions storage area the wing was left with the task of moving all munitions.

"There are no munitions troops here and no other experts on the storage of weapons and explosives," said Sergeant Ford. "Even though it was not his job he stepped up to the plate and volunteered much of his off-duty time to ensure the move was done safely and correctly."

Shortly after, the Department of Defense Explosives Safety Inspection team came for a visit. The wing received an outstanding rating.

Col. Patrick Sheets, 380th AEW commander, was so impressed he brought Airman Senecal to the wing stand-up briefing, and presented him with a coin in front of all the commanders.

"He single-handedly saved our bacon," said Colonel Sheets.

Airman Senecal says he cannot take credit for everything.

"It was good leadership and guidance that got me here," he said. "Without the people who work around me everyday I would not be a success."